Monthly Archives: August 2011

Limey

Was at the grocery store tonight and passed a young woman in the soda aisle.

“Wow, it must be a tough night if you’ve got TWO limes.”

“What? [looks in hand] Oh, yeah.”

“Isn’t that enough for eight Coronas?”

“Haha.”

“It’s always good for a lime to have a buddy.”

“For sure, you don’t want him to get lonely.”

“I bet.”

I was feeling extremely introverted (blew off an earlier approach opportunity of a woman reading a book in the deli line because of it) so I ejected. Sometimes there are moments where it’s best to pack it in, and when you dread speaking to anybody including the dude stocking the shelves is one of those times.

15 Comments

Filed under dating and field game

Primary Source Material: The Hot-Crazy Scale

My writing can’t do justice to Barney Stinson’s lecture on the the Hot-Crazy Scale, so I’ll let Doogie Howser take it away.

(The Vicky Mendoza Diagonal is a satiric reference to the baseball concept of the Mendoza Line, the batting average below which a player is a net negative to the team, despite his defensive skills, and should be removed from the lineup. I have also heard the Mendoza Line defined as the batting average below which the player will never return to functional offensive performance. The popular definition of the Mendoza Line is a batting average of .200.)

THE ALPHA-BETA SCALE

A parallel concept for men to consider is that a man can only be as beta as he is alpha – in other words, he will only draw relationship benefits from his beta traits to the degree he is also attractive to his mate.

READER EXERCISE

A fun party game: locate both yourself and your various romantic partners on the following plot. Or draw an arc that charts the progress of your relationship over time.

21 Comments

Filed under media, original research, primary sources

The #1 Game Question for Guys

When a guy tells me he’s having trouble with his game, I want to know one thing.

How many new women have you talked to this week?

I don’t mean numbers you got, kiss-closes, or extended philosophical waxings. I don’t mean how many women are in your vicinity when you go to the farmer’s market or wine tasting. I just want to know how many women you’ve talked to. It could be at the local watering hole, in the grocery line, at the library, leaving a movie theater. What is your tolerance for approaching?

It’s a question that shows a man’s real stones. It takes some courage and initiative to decide to learn game, but it takes another kind of down-to-earth guts to actually put it into practice.

It’s important that the metric is this week. That reflects current, day-to-day performance. If I hear he was approaching like gangbusters two weeks ago but hasn’t really been on the horse lately because he’s working a lot or whatever, he’s allowing his growth plan to slip. Don’t procrastinate by trying to perfect your game first; you can’t develop your game without approaching. Halfway-decent game executed now with a slew of approaches will yield better results than holding back until you think you’ve got it all perfect. Experience shows that you never really think you are ready anyway, so get used to going into situations feeling a bit underprepared (odds are you actually aren’t).

In his book, Mystery advocates an aspiring PUA go out several times a week meeting several women each night, adding up to something like 2,000 (!) approaches in a year. I think that’s a bit much, but on the other hand if that’s what it takes to blunt approach anxiety and build a full conversational toolbox, so be it.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s more to life than chatting up girls. But if a guy really wants to improve his results (seeking an LTR or otherwise), he should put some real effort into it, and there’s no way to avoid the fact that you have to approach women. You are not simply going to emanate a halo that brings girls to your side. If you aren’t talking to new women, all the game in the world isn’t going to do jack shit. It’s like having a factory with no raw materials coming in the door.

So get started.

Suggested Reading: Kane’s The First Secret To Meeting Women

154 Comments

Filed under beta guide, dating and field game

Reflections on Frost’s Analysis of the Sexual Revolution

I promised Frost of Freedom Twenty-Five I would post my thoughts on his brilliant pair of posts on the spoils of the sexual revolution:

Frost’s thesis is the following: “The Sexual Revolution harms attractive women, and unattractive men. It benefits unattractive women, and attractive men.”

Frost was responding to a Bostonian blogress named Lilly with whom he has been trading posts recently, who had posited simply “it seems like the women’s sexual revolution has done more for men than it has for women…it’s kind of a man’s dream come true: easier access to sex. Which then means it’s harder for a girl to find a guy willing to stick around.”

Susan Walsh followed up with an epic thread on the topic (861 comments to date). Since I can’t hope to re-state their judgments in better words, I will instead add my own.

1. You Can Never Over-Emphasize The Apex Fallacy

The Apex Fallacy (which I first heard of at Elusive Wapiti) is a phenomenon in social analysis where a group sees the success of the top of another group (the apex) and assumes that the entire group is leading a life of undue privilege.

The apex fallacy is what is going on in Lilly’s treatise. Most men don’t have anything resembling easy access to sex (more on that below). But because Lilly and millions of young educated women only consort with – that is to say date and sleep with – attractive men, who DO have access to sex essentially on their terms, the women they are seeing can only fathom “it must be great to be a man.” Without realizing the massive selection bias they are operating under.

At some point, the apex fallacy infected feminism and caused the movement to believe that men writ large were collectively responsible for the actions of those few men who killed, beat, raped, and abused corporations and politics for their own self-enrichment. Regular Manosphere readers understand that most men are beta or omega types, and thus almost wholly incapable of the sociopathic sexual, violent and relational crimes feminism sought to pin on the Y chromosome.

(Sidebar: I was not alive for most of this, but it’s clear feminism is deeply confused. We’re at a point where stay-at-home-momism is lauded as feminist, careerism is feminist, divorcing is feminist…instead of a movement with concrete goals, anything that aggrandizes a particular woman’s ego will be spun as a feminist act – which literally defines modern feminism as a movement of narcissism. What we have now in American society is a large number of people, like me, who are generally friendly to reasonable accommodations for women’s issues like reproductive health, workplace access, maternity leave and flex work, and a small number of very loud and obnoxious activists who we’d rather not listen to but they know a lot of lawyers.)

The AF also distorts perceptions in the sexual marketplace, as Lilly so glibly yet unawarely illustrates. Sexual liberation has gotten top men better access and variety than ever before.

Frost and Susan both make this point, so I won’t belabor it.

The AF is closely related to another phenomenon I don’t have a name for that might simply be called grass-is-greener syndrome. It’s the tendency of an ostensibly aggrieved group that if another group doesn’t have their particular problem, then they have life easier.

One example is the cubicle monkey who comes home to a housewife irate and exhausted from childcare. Papa can’t figure out what she’s so unhappy about – he has to deal with petty office politics and the pressure of bringing home the bread. But because he didn’t have to deal with a baby with diarrhea that day, she thinks his life is easier and it’s not fair.

Another example is the frequent complaint among men that women are not expected to approach and thus don’t risk the pain of rejection that men are expected to deal with. Women who are active agents in the dating market (not princesses who expect men to do all the work) experience their own challenges – trying to signal attraction and encourage men to escalate.

2. There Are Two Sexual Marketplaces

There is a dating marketplace, where commitment and relationships are bargained, and a true sexual marketplace where sex itself is bargained without relationships on the table. One’s MMV (marital market value so we don’t have to use the initials DMV) and SMV are not to be confused.

They correspond to Ladder 1 and Ladder 2 in the Male Ladder Theory.

3. Maybe Pretty Girls Do Have It Harder

As I see it, the revolution hurts top women in two ways.

First, the top women no longer have monopoly access to top men and their exponentially advanced power and resources; top men can now seek sexual satisfaction from lower-ranking women and get more variety and quantity in the process (there are more mates in the fatter part of the bell curve). All of this without substantially risking their time and resources in a relationship or a marriage.

Second, and this is a more subtle point, the short-term sexual market normalizes hardcore hypergamy. Women can get their short-term fling fix from a man who would never date them long-term. The result of this normalization is that 7’s and 8’s expect Seven Minutes in Heaven with a guy who’s a 9, and 9’s and 10’s may pine for a guy who literally doesn’t exist. A true 10 man is not going to be as attractive to a 10 as he is to a 7, so a top woman’s possible satisfaction will be lower than a woman in the second tier.

The man himself might be less satisfied with a woman at his rank. To a point, the tradeoff of her being less attractive but more into him is a positive benefit for a man’s relationship (although men do not exhibit such “hypogamy” as a primary mating strategy).

It warps the collective mindset of the sexual marketplace, and efficiency suffers at edge cases.

4. The Revolution Was Not Televised

The title of Susan’s post was a bit funny to me, because for a lot of young men today the sexual revolution never really happened.

The revolution has given less-attractive men marginally improved access to sex. (If you believe premarital sex didn’t exist before the pill, I have a subscription to Life Magazine to sell you.) It hasn’t really given the beta-male pool any real freedom of sexual congress, Haight-Ashbury notwithstanding.

It’s a bit like airport security, with one line for the gold members and airline crews and another line for the riff raff.

So a lot of guys can read this and consider whether the sexual revolution benefited men in general, but looking over their personal histories wonder what the F women like Lilly are talking about since they’ve never been invited to saddle up on her carousel. They are like people who didn’t have cable during Shark Week – they just flat missed out the hotness.

Exacerbating this split outcome is the increasing dichotomy of attractive and unattractive men. The breakwater against expanding sexual access has been the enervation of boys and men, and thus a concentration of virility in a smaller pack of males – natural alphas, guys who from boyhood resisted the kinder, gentler programming of society. This is a complex issue whose causes go way beyond the sexual revolution itself, from the emasculation of fathers in popular culture to the removal of dodgeball from PE class.

The upshot is that those who did what they were told all through the years by and large wound up sex-starved and clueless with regard to women; their mothers and their teachers helped neuter them while Dad stood by trepidatiously saying “if Mom’s not happy nobody’s happy.”

5. Mass Media Culture Globalizes Hypergamy

This is where I give Dalrock his long-promised response as well. During an intense debate at Haley’s Halo about whether it was immoral today for a woman to marry a man she wasn’t in love with (I believe it is), at least one woman made the comment that, hypothetically, a guy she doesn’t love might be her only shot at marriage and motherhood, things she “had to have,” and so he would just have to deal with it. I found this line of argument to be breathtakingly selfish. My opinion was backed up by a commenter who claimed to be stably married to a woman who fit with him but wasn’t really into him and had lived a life of unbearable sexual frustration.

Comments in response argued that because of hypergamy, most women are only attracted to a small subset of top men, and thus most men would just have to accept marrying women who are not really that limerant or turned on by them. I for one invoked Hamster’s Razor, which says to never accept rhetoric that supports one’s naked self-interest as anything other than a rationalization.

For his part, Dalrock responded with a post on the limits of hypergamy, asking if hypergamy really universally means that a large chunk of men won’t be able to mate with women who are into them.

Dalrock expressed skepticism, and I am inclined to agree. We both ascribe this line of argument to an abuse of the concept of hypergamy, and a simple case of unrealistic expectations that prevent someone from feeling an appropriate sense of love because they’ve become habituated to a bunch of silly conviction about “the man I deserve” based on whatever delusions of grandeur she was feeling the day she came up with her date-and-mate checklist.

Dalrock prescribed a deflation of ego. I suppose that’s too much to ask in our increasingly self-absorbed and self-justifying popular culture.

As to where these expectations are coming from, hypergamy is by its nature a localized phenomenon. A man’s status is going to be judged by a woman in the environment in which they both live. There is no collective unconscious repository of sexual status where women can check in and see if they’ve gotten a good deal compared to all the other girls.

At least there didn’t used to be. Now there is movies, TV, gossip rags and YouTwitFace, all of which provide ever-increasing forums for the conspicuous display of sexual value. This mass media explosion has collectivized sexual value by breaching walls between mating communities, such that all classes and ranks now have at least visual access to one another. In particular, the broadcasting of attractive men and of material lifestyles shirley have a dramatic effect on the expectations of women in the dating marketplace.

I must admit I stole this idea from the famous Roger Devlin, the academic muse of the Manosphere as it were. In Sexual Utopia In Power, Devlin noted the constant comparisons of modern women’s lives against unrealistic media-induced standards:

Formerly, most people lived parochial lives in a world where even photography did not exist. Their notions of sexual attractiveness were limited by their experience. Back in my own family tree, for example, there was a family with three daughters who grew up on a farm adjoining three others. As each girl came of age, she married a boy from one of the neighboring farms. They did not expect much in a husband. It is probable all three went through life without ever seeing a man who looked like Cary Grant.

But by the 1930s millions of women were watching Cary Grant two hours a week and silently comparing their husbands with him. For several decades since then the entertainment industry has continued to grow and coarsen. Finally the point has been reached that many women are simply not interested in meeting any man who does not look like a movie star. While it is not possible to make all men look like movie stars, it is possible to encourage women to throw themselves at or hold out for the few who do, i.e., to become sluts or spinsters, respectively. Helen Gurley Brown raked in millions doing precisely this. The brevity of a woman’s youthful bloom, combined with a mind not yet fully formed at that stage of life, always renders her vulnerable to unrealistic expectations. The sexual revolution is in part a large-scale commercial exploitation of this vulnerability.

5b. Cosmo Sells Apex Expectations To Young Women

An interesting follow-up to this point would be Cosmopolitan magazine (Helen Gurley Brown edited the magazine for over thirty years). Last time I checked, this pile of inane dreck was the best-selling periodical among young adults.  Cosmo pairs girl talk with graphic sex talk, although as a learned red pill man I know these are often one and the same.

Cosmo transparently sells the apex fallacy that your guy is going to be really hot and in demand, so you need to be well-versed in beauty, fashion, lifestyle and – most importantly – techniques for sexual variety. It presumes all its readers are going to date men with freakish sexual tastes. This closely ties into a subtle form of intrasexual competition – “These tips will make you better at sex than any woman you know. Meanwhile, everyone else is reading, it so get to work.”

The fact is that most women will never have access to the sort of strapping male model physiques that are idolized on romance novel covers and GQ, let alone access to a true alpha male with his bevy of attraction markers. As a general rule, a woman needs to emulate sexual variety during a long-term relationship, but it’s damaging to women’s self-image to give them the idea that they are never going to be good enough in the sack. I’m no sex pozzie but this idea of standing sexual inadequacy being germinated in the minds of teenage women disturbs me.

I suppose it’s no different from cosmetics, fashion and household products marketing, which all serve to constantly chip away at a woman’s security in her own domestic state.

I was still a teenager when I noticed that Cosmo thought the worst of both men and women – that men were easily-manipulated, sex-obsessed boors and that women’s highest purpose on this Earth was to look hot and serve the needs of a man better than the next girl.

272 Comments

Filed under junk culture, original research, primary sources

The Song’s Name is Baba O’Riley

We interrupt regular Badger Hut programming to blow up a pet peeve.

Repeat after me…

Baba O’Riley.

Baba O’Riley.

Baba O’Riley.

The song’s name is not “Teenage Wasteland.”

I remember as a teenager finding my dad’s vinyl copy of Who’s Next and throwing it on the turntable. Baba O’Riley was the opening track. At first I thought “what the F is with these keyboards?” Then the song actually began, one of the top ten blowaway new music experiences for me.

Also, it’s called “Every Breath You Take,” not “I’ll Be Watching You.”

“Take a load off Annie” is a lyric; that song is called “The Weight.”

Fill in other mis-remembered song titles in the comments so we can continue to educate the masses.

12 Comments

Filed under music

Dear Badger: Is He Falling For Me?

Guarded writes:

Hi All ,
My question is about my current BF of 5 months. We get along great we actually met in H.S reconnected 8 months ago. He tells me that I drive him crazy , he was fascinated by me..He can’t keep his hands off of me cuddling or sexual. He’s a type of guy who keeps giving he doesn’t get jealous at all, and only has been in love once in his life out of 13 relationships. He told me he really really likes me more.than what I know he wants to keep me happy & loves to cuddle..etc my question is could he be falling for me and I don’t realize it? All his friends know of me and I noticed his eyes twinkle when he kisses me. We have so much on common its ridiculous is this a bad thing? I guess I’m very curious but I will.not ask him because I don’t want to scare him I’m enjoying our casual relationship , because I feel so lucky to be with such a great guy. Any advice ? Thanks Very Guarded..

It sounds like he has fallen for you, and you do realize it. If he’s had 13 mostly-loveless “relationships” and he’s been seeing you for five months and telling you he is really into you, that’s practically a marathon and a huge positive sign. The only caveat would be if this is an act; I wouldn’t suspect it unless he had a history as a player or something like that. Most guys don’t talk about their emotions with girls unless they are really strong, and the number of guys who are sociopathic and can manipulate a woman’s emotions with their own is very small. The safe bet is that he’s quite smitten.

I will.not ask him because I don’t want to scare him I’m enjoying our casual relationship , because I feel so lucky to be with such a great guy.

You’ve asked if he wants something more. The thing I’m not seeing in your letter is whether you want something more. Maybe you do and you are afraid to say it, even to a blogger. Or maybe you don’t – despite cultural tropes, not all women are desperately praying to get into a long-term relationship, and because of cultural pressures they are loath to admit they don’t want what society tells them they should want. Or maybe you don’t because you fear that an overt “commitment” will kill the spontaneous, mirthful vibe you guys have (this is one of the legitimate gripes of men with regard to relationships and marriage).

There’s this thing that came up in popular culture called the “DTR talk”: Define The Relationship. It’s an absolutely essential part of any modern relationship experience – even if neither of you are actively seeing other people, neither side can or should assume they are exclusive until they’ve had the talk. Your anxiety is not atypical among young women, they are unnerved about pushing the issue for fear of making the guy feel boxed in or put upon.

But here’s the rub – if you don’t bring it up, it may never get discussed. Many guys have been burned by asking for commitment too early and looking needy, which drives women away, and there’s a subtle stripe of machismo in American culture that discourages and looks down on men who want relationships (which balances cultural pressures for women to seek “commitment.”)

There are a lot of cases where both sides want to have the relationship, but the girl doesn’t want to ask because she’s afraid of scaring him off, and the guy doesn’t want to ask because he’s afraid she’ll take him for needy or weak. And bizarrely, some of these couples split up even though they both want to stay together, because neither side wants to take the risk of capitulating by bringing it up.

In your case, the signs are positive – he’s not hiding you, he’s been open about his emotions, he obviously likes you. I would be surprised if he gave you some kind of “I’m just having fun/I’m not looking for anything serious” kind of response.

So you need to figure out what you want. If you are cool with having a “fling” – an intense, limerant relationship experience without any real stated expectation of long-term growth – that’s just fine. If you want to make a go at a long-term thing, that’s fine too, and you shouldn’t feel wrong in asking for it. But in any case, be honest with him about it. If you want to have a fling, and he wants an LTR, don’t try to “fake it till you make it.” You’ will break his heart, and he’ll be angry with you for what he’ll perceive as you leading him on.

We have so much on common its ridiculous is this a bad thing?

No, not at all. Not to say that opposites can’t attract either, but commonalities give a couple a shortcut to building a relationship foundation. The only problem can be if you are too much alike; in that case, one of you is redundant.

SHUTTER, DON’T FLUTTER YOUR EYELIDS

I can’t finish without commenting on this:

All his friends know of me and I noticed his eyes twinkle when he kisses me.

There’s an old line that you should never trust anyone who kisses with their eyes open – the joke being that you can’t tell if your partner’s eyes are open unless yours are too. :-o

I will say that one of my favorite experiences in the early dating process is giving a lady a nice deep kiss, then pulling away and opening my eyes to see hers still closed, with an open-mouthed halo of joy emanating from her face.

22 Comments

Filed under dear badger, relationships

Defining Ballbusters, And In Defense Of A Woman’s “Accomplishments”

The term “ballbuster” gets thrown around a bit in the Manosphere, and by me in particular. I want to make sure we’re all on the same page.

I define a ballbuster as a woman who engages in “conspicuous ambition,” relational aggression, and a thin-skinned “don’t you dare give me any shit” attitude, particularly with regard to men. I also include a superficial competence without deep roots – the Dunning-Kruger Effect leading them to believe they are better than they are. They are socially hostile in their essence; I find them closely allied with female raunch culture.

A ballbuster may or may not have a stated loyalty to feminism. What she does have is a massive self-absorption bordering on paranoia that if she doesn’t boss everyone around and promote her own success she’ll lose her rightful opportunity to become head of the company. She’s the type of woman who has to let everyone know her opinion on the matter, and always scrambles to get her piece of the credit first.

Ballbusters will sometimes complain of a double standard, that if men did what they did it wouldn’t be bad. It’s not that ballbusters “act like men,” it’s that they act like distasteful people. They are a classic archetype of workplace asshole; there are plenty of male workplace assholes, and nobody likes them either.

All the heat and noise is just a sign of a cleaved worldview; stomping around the office and letting everyone know you’re in charge really just reveals your own insecurity, and in some cases a deep disappointment that your career efforts have not yielded any happiness. For what it’s worth, very few men can pull this act off; it normally alienates a man from his teammates if they get the idea he’s all in for himself first. (Sharing credit and promoting the success of others are key steps to rising.) If you’re going to AMOG other people at the office, you better have some real exceptional skill to back up your talk.

This being the 21st century, I have worked with a lot of women. I’ve been fortunate to be in environments with quality staff, so I’m grateful for the women I’ve worked with because they are really good at what they do. My current workplace has zero ballbusters. The women I know who are truly successful are NEVER ballbusters. Some are more masculine (in a forward take-charge kind of manner), some more feminine (nurture the team), but none of them have puerile nastiness or a zero-sum philosophy. They are women I trust with the enterprise in their hands. We trust them because they are competent, do what’s best for the business and don’t make us feel like peons.

WHEN ACCOMPLISHMENTS MATTER

Let’s talk a bit about the dating marketplace. It has been repeated ad nauseum in the Manosphere that men do not care about a woman’s career.

I’d like to caveat that statement. A woman’s “success” is not a trait of attraction for men the way a man’s success is attractive to women (although that only goes so far as women have long shown strong attraction to destitute bikers, starving musicians and the like). A man’s career success shows mastery, social dominance and control of resources, all of which are fitness and survivability markers that have been shown to trigger attraction in women.

But a woman having a successful career doesn’t show nearly as much about her fitness to grow a baby and live to raise it. This dichotomy is neither fair nor unfair; it’s simply there, it’s the intrinsic triggers the sexes are built with.

That doesn’t mean it’s worthless. So when does a woman’s career matter? It matters as a lifestyle compatibility trait – a marker for a happy life together. Despite the fact that successful men can pull trophy housewives, many of them don’t, because that’s not what they want in a spouse. They want a woman who understands what they go through during the day, who can converse with them on their intellectual level, who can expose them to new and novel things, who can help them solve complex life problems, who he can bring around his friends without them thinking there’s only one light bulb at home.

Having something more to her name than waiting tables or punching a register while she waited for Mr. Right shows she has a clue, that there’s something she’s passionate about, that she knows how to get things done and to execute a long-term personal strategy.

Again, these are all good traits for a relationship – what they are not is sexually attractive. And just like the tingle with a woman, attraction is what gets you in the door with a man, he won’t consider your relationship fitness unless you are attractive to him.

That’s not at all to say there aren’t tradeoffs, the subject of millions of texts over the past fifty years (including testimony on this blog). More work means less time with each other, and less time for domestic details. Even in a big city, there are only so many jobs, and if one of you gets that partner-track offer in another state, something’s gotta give. Then there’s the big question of what happens when there are babies (although upper-class couples through history have often had nannies raise their children. I wonder if “having it all” could just as easily be seen as bringing upper-class women into childcare as it is bringing middle-class women out of the nursery).

It’s now shockingly predictable to hear white-collar women complain they are single because “men are intimidated by a successful woman.” I read an online dating profile that said as much just this morning. I usually hear this out of the mouth of ballbusters themselves, who can’t admit that they are unpleasant to be around and instead rationalize their rejection by men as a manifestation of irrational male anxiety and jealousy. Forgetting those projection cases, pumping the career as a DHV is still rampant in online dating profiles and SWPL happy hours. Like using a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, they’re using the wrong tool for the wrong job. They’re trying to attract men by waving their resume in their faces. It’s the same manner in which beta males will try to attract women with supplicating provider game.

So if you have a career (and you should have something you are working towards professional competence in), work it, enjoy it, be proud of it – just don’t expect your man to jump you for it. He’ll be proud of you, but he’s probably not going to find your boardroom dominance sexy the way you do his. I wouldn’t rule out giving it a try in your own personal “boardroom” with the lights out, though.

15 Comments

Filed under original research

Approaching is 95% Perspiration

I’ve written on openers before and it really bears repeating that the secret to approaching is really to just approach. In one of his writings I can’t even hope to look up right now, Roosh made the point that a woman will rarely if ever remember the opener itself, especially if it is followed up by an interesting conversation.

Think about how many people you know that you have no idea how you actually met them. Can you recall the exact first words you had with somebody? I don’t for most of my friends.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the words you use have to somehow rationally convince her she should talk to you. The really important part of opening is that you are initiating conversation. Non-verbal cues like how you dress, how you walk and how you look her in the eye have already made her hindbrain’s decision as to whether she wants to respond to you.

It’s also easy to psych yourself out by trying to assemble an entire verbal invasion force, planning the course of the entire conversation before you open your mouth. You’ll never approach if you insist on all of this. The conversation will go places you can’t plan anyway.

There have been a couple of great posts recently on this issue:

Mike at Crime & Federalism says that men have lost their gameness and are taking rejection too personally because of it, and offers his dog as a role model.

Kane (welcome to the blogroll) says that the first secret to meeting women is to “talk to them!”

GIRLS CAN APPROACH TOO

Young women, many of would do well to throw away your own approach anxiety. You will absolutely get better results with men if you are comfortable doing some approaching yourself.

I understand many/most women don’t want to be seen as overly forward, but women can get away with much more subtle openers, like environmental observations or comments said to nobody in particular (“the line is long tonight” or “it’s really hot outside”). There’s also eye contact, smiling or body proximity.

Guys should take a woman saying anything to him or to the wind as an IOI and follow up with something interesting; if she responds to it with gusto, keep talking to her. If she demurs, she was just being polite.

18 Comments

Filed under beta guide, dating and field game, girl guide

Guest Post: This IS My Backup Career; I Wanted To Be A Horse

One of the core missions of the Badger Hut is to advise young adults on various personal and professional challenges from age 20 to 30 or so, particularly the fact that you really have no idea where the journey will take you. To that end, today we are blessed by the wise words of comedy writer and improv artists Erin Whitehead. Erin lives in Los Angeles, performs at Upright Citizens Brigade, and is a featured writer for OnlineDatingSites.net. Follow her on Twitter @girlwithatail.

I spent close to a decade in Los Angeles in what I call my dog years; seven years passed but I only got about a year of living done in that time. Fresh out of college and armed with useful advice in slogan form like, “Make your dreams a reality,” and, “You can do anything you set out to do,” I began the work of attaining my big goal: to be Natalie Portman. Or Claire Danes. Or realistically (I thought) to be my own version of these gorgeous, serious actresses who got their start as preteens. I enrolled in a series of method acting classes during which I was coached into “break throughs” (mental breakdowns) and where I had to relive every terrible thing that ever happened to me in order to truly understand the characters I was playing (You know, like I’m sure they do on Entourage). The problem was I didn’t start as a preteen, I wasn’t gorgeous, being that serious all the time was making me depressed, and oh – I hated it. I realized this about three years in but, like my first real relationship, I thought that abandoning something just because you were miserable made you a quitter and that clashed with the other slogan advice I had in my pocket: “Don’t be a quitter.”

I’m not totally sure where these life lesson bumper stickers came from. It wasn’t family or teachers but then those weren’t voices I put much stock in anyway. Chances are, like most every other value I’d honed, I had pieced them together from 80’s movies. When Ally Sheedy’s character in The Breakfast Club said, “When you grow up your heart dies,” I took that to mean that letting go of something you wanted meant giving up and giving in to the grind of depressing adulthood. Characters in 80’s movies had dreams, goals, and aspirations that they NEVER let go of even if they ended up crippled in a wheel chair! Of course, the other thing about 80’s movies is they took place over a couple of days or weeks. The silhouettes of dreamers faded fist-in-air into the credits leaving you with the certainty that they’d never alter course. Had my own life freeze-framed at the end of one particularly moving monologue in a method class it would have suggested a very different trajectory than the one I’m currently on.

What I didn’t get was that allowing yourself to realize you don’t want something anymore isn’t the same as giving up. In fact, it’s just the inverted way of saying you want something different. If I had been open to listening to my heart which was, as Ally Sheedy predicted, dying, I would have saved years (and thousands of dollars in method classes). Instead, since I was squashing the inner rumblings that something wasn’t right, it took getting smacked in the face from something on the outside. Three dates in with a writer/comedian I jolted to life when I suddenly knew with absolute certainty that I desperately needed and wanted not to date him, but to BE him. No, I didn’t want to become a man (although hey, if my heart wants that one day, I’ll be open to it). I wanted his life. I’d been so crippled by clinging to an old want, I didn’t even know I had new, stronger one until it was making out with me. I wanted to be writing and doing comedy. Like most big crushes I’ve nursed, I was attracted to them because they physically embodied something I wanted. It’s just that I didn’t know I wanted it until I saw someone else walking around with it. It’s like when someone borrows your sweater without asking and you’re like, “That’s a nice – hey, that’s MY sweater, why didn’t I ever notice how great it looked until it was on someone else?” When you see your dream life walking around in someone else’s skin, you first want to hump them, then you want to be them. As soon as I figured that out, I ended my dog year.

If my life freeze-framed this second it would suggest I’m well on my way to becoming a successful writer/comedian. Right now, I really frigging hope that’s the case. But then if you had asked me what I want to be when I was ten I would have said, “Marine Biologist” (it was the cool thing to say you wanted to be that year). If you had asked me when I was five I would have said, “A horse.” Harmless as the question might seem, when adults ask kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” it implies that they should know. That it should be one, constant thing. I think “want” is a moving horizon. It’s the dangling carrot that urges us forward to the next thing we didn’t even know we wanted because we hadn’t seen it yet. Wanting something and going about attaining it is awesome. But for me it’s not about following it through to the bloody end. It’s about where the pursuit of that want takes you and what it makes you want next. It keeps you moving forward which keeps you alive. It keeps your heart from dying.

13 Comments

Filed under guest posts, living young